Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Power of Choice

The UK's first "Energy Saving Day" was nothing more than an ordinary day. Instead of lowering their electricity usage, UK citizens consumed nearly the same amount of energy as usual. A day meant to demonstrate that "small personal actions [can] make a dent in greenhouse gas emissions" proved that most people, when given a choice, opt not to change their habits.

A couple things came to mind when reading this article. First, I realized that President Bush's policy of voluntary, rather than mandatory, cuts on greenhouse gas emissions will probably never work. The failure of "Energy Saving Day" proves that, even when special attention is paid to reducing energy usage, people don't deviate from their average level of consumption. I would like to think that energy efficiency can be embraced by the general public, but I know that desire is optimistic. Even I, someone very conscious of my carbon footprint, have wasteful habits that need rectifying. In addition, 100% agreement on the existence of climate change does not even exist. How difficult would it be for someone skeptical of global warming to go out of the way to prevent it?

Second, this article exposed growing religious support for action against climate change. Not only did a campaign group called Christian Aid back "Energy Saving Day," but also the Bishop of London launched the event on the steps of St. Paul's Cathedral. Clergy who dub climate change as a "moral issue" are now standing alongside scientists who first brought the issue to light.

No comments: